The Church Guide
“I wish people – my family and those at church – had listened to me. The church needs to have a greater understanding so that they can support you. They need to listen and understand."
— Domestic abuse survivor —
If someone in your church disclosed domestic abuse, would you know what do to?
At Restored, we are committed to helping churches engage with the issue of domestic abuse, equipping them to effectively respond to disclosures, support survivors, and work with perpetrators. That's why we've produced the Church Guide, which answers questions like:
- How to manage a domestic abuse disclosure from someone in your church
- What the Bible says about domestic abuse
- How to support survivors in your church
- How to help abusers in your congregation
We believe that Churches have a crucial role to play in preventing domestic abuse. It can start with becoming aware, engaging in careful listening, and learning to respond with supportive, caring and helpful actions.
Restored’s Church Guide has been developed to help your church do these things well.
Section 1 - What is domestic abuse?
The Church Guide starts by exploring the definition of domestic abuse, the different forms it takes, and how its cycle and characteristics are displayed in relationships. Coercive control and the law are outlined and the prevalence of domestic abuse nationally and in local churches are discussed. This section also addresses who experiences domestic abuse, the signs of domestic abuse, and some common misconceptions.
Section 3 - Theological Reflections
This section explores key areas of the Bible that should guide our response to domestic abuse, and discusses passages that can often be misunderstood, and are sometimes used to prevent domestic abuse from being challenged and discourage victims from seeking help.
Section 2 - How the Church can stand against domestic abuse.
Section 2 helps church members and leaders discover how to respond appropriately when abuse is disclosed, and how to effectively support a victim/survivor and any children involved - plus how to respond appropriately when the abuser is also in your congregation.
We provide a framework for handling disclosures with a clear diagram explaining the appropriate actions to take. We also list clear dos and don’ts for managing interactions with victim/survivors and perpetrators.
Section 4 - Specialised Services
Finally, the guide provides information on specialised services and resources in the UK that you can call upon for your own guidance or to signpost for a victim/survivor.
I have a copy of your original Church Pack - do I need to buy the Church Guide?
The Church Guide is a significantly updated version of our original Church Guide. We've added crucial information about the effect of domestic abuse on children, and outlined some ways to respond if this situation arises in your church community. We've also included a section that deals with managing abusers in your congregation knowing how to support a perpetrator can be filled with potential pitfalls and so we provide a list of specific dos and don’ts, always keeping the safety, sanity and dignity of the victim at the forefront of any action.